News

July Video Update

Watch this video on Vimeo by either clicking on the following link or by copying and pasting it in your browser:

https://vimeo.com/348373188

Dear Pastors and Friends,

It was a blessing to be in Belarus recently where BIEM has done some church planting and was able to build two church buildings. Of all the countries which made up the Soviet Union, Belarus has been the slowest to move towards democracy and other reforms that came with the collapse of the Soviet Union. For example, in Belarus you can still see statues of Lenin standing and they still have the KGB. This does make for a difficult field but nevertheless, praise God that the Gospel is being preached and souls are being saved.

When I was visiting Nikolai, one of our church planters, I had the opportunity to make a video featuring their garden. In Eastern Europe, many people including pastors depend upon their gardens for much of their food. We thought you would find it interesting to see this.

In Christ,

Sam & Amy Slobodian

BIEMs of Light July 2019

Praises Rejoice with us!

  • Due to a wonderful response to the tribute article about Peter Rumachik and the generosity of other donors, BIEM will be able to provide a church building for a new church in Siberia, near where Peter was once exiled for his faith. How wonderfully ironic that the USSR’s method of punishing a Christian eventually resulted in a new church in that place!

  • When our warehouse was getting filled with donations of good, used clothing to ship overseas, a youth group from Pennsylvania stopped here during their mission trip. That group sorted and packed a huge amount of those clothes. A local church also plans to send volunteers soon, so before long the next shipment should be ready to go!

  • An answer to prayer—BIEM missionary Bruce Tuttle has received word the Ukrainian embassy approved another 90-day visa for him. When he returns to Ukraine, step 2 will be to apply for a new 1-year visa to live in Ukraine, so this praise item includes a prayer need.

  • We praise the Lord for the start of a new project—dubbing the film King of Glory into the Turkmen language. This will require patience, wisdom, technical prowess, and safety.

Prayer - Pray with us!

  • Please pray for one of our missionaries in Russia. Although prudence suggests we not name him, an elderly man happened to pass away during a church service. As a result, local police summoned the missionary for interrogation. (Just after BIEM received this news, we received an email from a friend who told us he was prompted to pray especially for the missionary, sensing he was in danger. This happened right during the time he was being interrogated!) Please pray there will be no negative repercussions from the authorities.

  • Summer camps are being held by our personnel in various countries. There have been a few early reports of souls saved. Please keep praying!

  • Let’s never forget to pray for those evangelizing. As one example, BIEM’s Vitaly Keller and fellow church members often use various methods to strike up conversations in the parks and on sidewalks in Kyiv, Ukraine. (They meet people from all over!) Please pray that the Scriptures shared will put down roots and grow in the hearts of those who listen.

  • The First Baptist Church in Bilogorodka, Ukraine, received a list of about 50 disabled children in their area. Believers visited all of these children to greet them and to deliver gifts, which included Christian children’s literature. The children (and most of the parents) received the visitors with joy. Please pray for the salvation of parents and kids.

June Video Update

Watch this video on Vimeo by either clicking on the following link or by copying and pasting it in your browser:

https://vimeo.com/342755891

Dear Pastors and Friends, 

Greetings from the Slobodians! We trust the Lord is blessing you with a wonderful summer. 

This month's video comes from Desna, Ukraine. This is the military city where a church has been established. One of the truly amazing blessings of this effort was that we were able to purchase property so that church could meet in its own building. 

Over the years many souls have come to Christ here. A good number have ended up in full-time ministry. This video features Igor and Lyosha who both grew up on this base. Both were saved and then went on to full-time Christian service. Igor now pastors the church in Desna and Lyosha is our church planter in Chernihiv a large city to the north. 

In Christ, 

Sam & Amy Slobodian

BIEMs of Light June 2019

Praises Rejoice with us!

  • Last month we requested prayer for Julia, one of our missionaries in a Muslim nation. She had been experiencing a difficult pregnancy. On May 30 she gave birth to a healthy baby girl. Praise the Lord, and thank you for praying!

  • In our previous BIEMs of Light we still needed nearly $29,000 to meet our minimum amount necessary for summer camps. We praise God that friends responded. We have now received the $40,000 needed for camps this year!

  • In May, BIEM held a missions conference in Kyiv, Ukraine, primarily for seminary students, but also for others interested in ministry in Muslim nations where Russian is spoken. God blessed that conference, where a number of attendees expressed that they will pray concerning the possibility of ministry among Muslims. Others who attended also became more sensitive to the needs and promised prayers for these restricted lands.

  • In May and June, BIEM was able to host two of our church planters from Ukraine, Vitaly Bilyak and Eugene Buyko. Praise God for the warm responses from churches they were able to share their ministries with in Michigan, Missouri, Indiana and Illinois. 

Prayer - Pray with us!

  • In the Republic of Georgia, BIEM missionary Micah Tuttle declares, “We need Georgian helpers!!!” Along this line, the Lord has prompted a man named Zauri to ask that Micah train him in how to preach. They meet weekly. Pray for God to confirm this calling if it’s truly from the Lord, and for more Georgian believers who wish to be used in God’s service.

  • In Drogichin, Belarus, the church held evangelistic meetings for the community under a large tent. Praise God, there was a sunny break in a week full of rainy weather for these services. The believers praise God for the weather and good attendance, but wish more people had trusted Christ. Please pray for God to continue to work in hearts.

  • Some summer camps have already begun. Workers are thrilled for the excellent weather and large turnout of campers! Please pray for safety during the camps, for all the adult workers, and for God’s Word to bear fruit in campers’ lives.

  • On June 16 there will be an evangelistic outreach aimed at widows in Kodra, Ukraine. Local widows will be invited to the church for a meal, for testimonies, a Gospel message, and a complimentary bag of groceries. Pray for softened hearts and responses to the Gospel.

Challenger Update

Here is an excerpt from our most recent Challenger publication.

Recently one of BIEM’s dear friends, Pastor Peter Rumachik, passed away. This Challenger includes a special tribute to his life. For the rest of the article, please read the Challenger!

If you were asked to name just one Christian from our time who had lived an exemplary life for God despite great pressure, which one would you name? For many believers around the globe, the choice would be Peter Vasilievich Rumachik.

On January 29, this faithful servant of God (and long- time friend of BIEM) passed to his eternal reward at the age of 87. But who was Peter Rumachik? What makes him so respected among believers? Let’s glorify God by taking a brief look at how He led in Peter’s life.

Early life

Peter was born in the Soviet Union in 1931, the period when Stalin’s atheistic government was already working to strangle the church and eradicate faith in God. Because his mother was a Christian, Peter heard the Gospel from a young age. He and his closest childhood friend Victor regularly met to read the Bible together.

So, even as a boy, Peter believed in God, and he understood the only way to Heaven was by God’s grace through faith in the Savior, Jesus Christ. Yet, he saw the reality as the atheistic authorities imprisoned active Christians, confiscated Bibles, and seized places of worship. Understanding how difficult life could be for a Christian in the Soviet Union, at age 16 Peter made a decision about becoming a child of God. “Not right now, and not even in my youth or when I’m middle aged, but I’ll follow the path of Christ when I am per- haps 50 or 60.”

However when his best friend died at age 18, Peter realized he had no guarantee of living to old age. He could die any time. Three months later, cutting through snowy woods, he knelt in the snow and prayed, putting his trust in Jesus Christ. In 1948 he was baptized.

Becoming active

Peter once recalled, “From the very beginning of my turning to the Lord, I believed deeply in my Savior, loved Him, and strove to serve Him in any way.”

The period from 1955– 1960 became particularly memorable for him. During those years he played an active role in preaching and assisting to start a house church in the Moscow suburb of Dyedovsk. By the end of the 1950s, the authorities had fined Peter and the other preachers multiple times. In 1961 the authorities began conducting searches of their homes. The authorities brought criminal charges against Peter and four others: starting an illegal church, holding crowded meetings in a home, allowing children to be present at church, and for disobedience to the VSEKhB (the government-registered and controlled group of Evangelical Christian- Baptist churches). He and the others were put on trial and punished by being exiled to Siberia’s primitive Krasnoyarsk region.

Continued in the Challenger.

 

May Video Update

Watch this video on Vimeo by either clicking on the following link or by copying and pasting it in your browser:

https://vimeo.com/336577337

Dear Pastors and Friends,

Thank-you for your prayers for our missions conference focusing on Central Asia in Kiev earlier this month. God answered those prayers, and the conference was a tremendous blessing and exceeded our expectations. Praise God!

Our May video update features this conference which was incorporated in the May Session of our Seminary in Kiev. There was a strategic purpose in this since there is a consensus among those involved in missions that Ukrainians are best suited to work as missionaries in Muslim Central Asia. They share the Russian language in common, they are in close proximity, and most of all, they are neither American nor Russian.


The Ukrainians received the information enthusiastically as conference speakers, including some from Central Asia, spoke about the need and what God is doing in these places. We praise God that at least 5 responded with a serious interest to serve in these lands. Please pray that God would enable and direct them in this path as well as others who are praying about volunteering as well.

In Christ,
Sam & Amy Slobodian



BIEMs of Light May 2019

Praises Rejoice with us!

  • In April, BIEM missionary Vitaly Keller and others were able to set up a display on a main street in Kyiv, Ukraine. The collection consisted of framed works of Christian art. Using any painting, the display provided opportunities to share the Gospel with passersby. Evangelism—may God water the seeds sown in those conversations!

  • The building that BIEM helped the church in Ternopil, Ukraine, to buy now has new Sunday school rooms. Men from the church refurbished rooms that had remained in rough, unfinished condition after the purchase. They turned out beautifully and are in service!

  • Two different times recently, children of BIEM missionaries Sergei and Vika Skripnik landed in their local hospital. Praise God, neither occasion turned out to be serious, but both occasions gave opportunities to share the Gospel with others!

  • Our missionary in Bila Tserkva, Ukraine, Bruce Tuttle, is thrilled with his Bible students’ receptivity and eagerness to learn. They are halfway through 6 semesters of studies. Bruce says, “Pray that every course will have a part in building the character, wisdom, abilities, and spiritual passion of our students.”

Prayer - Pray with us!

  • In May, BIEM plans to hold a missions conference in Kyiv, Ukraine. A main goal is to increase understanding of the needs and opportunities in the Muslim lands of Central Asia. Please pray God will use this conference to raise up more laborers for those regions.

  • Julia, the wife of one of our missionaries in a Muslim nation, is in her 8th month of a very difficult pregnancy. Please pray for both her and the child to remain safe and healthy.

  • Elections in Ukraine recently brought a new president to that nation. Unfortunately, corruption has been a deep-rooted problem in Ukraine. While no one can promise this new administration can defeat the corruption, Scripture tells us, The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will. Therefore, please pray that God will see fit to direct the newly elected leadership in ways that are righteous, especially that the current state of full religious freedom would continue in Ukraine. The blessing of this freedom has greatly aided missionary work in this needy land.

  • Funds for summer camps are slowly trickling in. We currently have $11,403 of the $40,000 needed. Please pray for God to supply the remaining $28,597 through His people.

April Video Update

Watch this video on Vimeo by either clicking on the following link or by copying and pasting it in your browser:

https://vimeo.com/330796929

Dear Pastors and Friends,

Warm greetings in Christ! This month's video update features what BIEM is doing to help the needy in Ukraine's war zone which is along the east, bordering Russia. There are about 20 churches in that area that we fellowship and work with through the Brotherhood of Independent Baptist Churches of Ukraine. On this video you will see Pastor Sergii Sheptala, whose residency in the war zone permits him access to this embattled area and Sergii Debelinsky, who is the president of the Brotherhood. 

Funds given for clothing, food, coal for heating, and other needs are distributed by the churches not only to their own members but also to those in their community. Since the Gospel is presented along with distributing the aid, many souls are being saved, and several of these churches now have baptized believers in their membership through these efforts. Please consider helping with this need by designating gifts as "Aid for Ukraine."

In Christ, 

Sam & Amy Slobodian



BIEMs of Light April 2019

Praises Rejoice with us!

  • When doctors told new believer Elena in Lvov, Ukraine her cancer would kill her in less than two months, she had one wish: to be baptized and glorify God. BIEM’s Yura Levtseniuk arranged for her to be baptized immediately. Believers and relatives attended and heard Elena’s glowing testimony. Three days later, she was with the Lord. God still saves souls!

  • In Kyiv, the Kellers rejoice: “Our little house church has multiplied by two. We prefer not to call it division, since we have multiplied purposefully to make room for new people to come. We decided to multiply every time there are more than 20 of us in one location.”

  • In Chernigiv, Ukraine, the Savchuks’ church continues their new outreach to orphans at a mental hospital. Although not always an easy ministry, the children are always glad to see them, and this work has become a special type of evangelism for this young church.

  • Over the years, ministry friends have donated guitars, orchestra instruments, and even pianos for BIEM to ship to Eastern Europe for ministry. One church in Kyiv, Ukraine, has formed a saxophone quintet using all donated instruments, and the musicians provide special music at services. Thank you to all of you who have donated good, used instruments for churches. If you have a musical instrument to donate, we can use more!

Prayer - Pray with us!

  • With spring in full swing, the children’s camp season will soon be upon us.  Each year, God greatly blesses these camps for kids and teens with salvation decisions and strengthened faith in young ones growing in the Lord. Please pray that we will receive the target amount of $40,000 needed before the first camps in June. Currently we have $3,527.

  • One of our couples in the Republic of Georgia reports some conflicts and tensions among people attending the church. Please pray for peaceful resolutions and that the name of the Lord not be tarnished. Also, a woman who has translated many materials from English to Georgian for them has stepped down for health reasons. Pray for a qualified replacement.

  • In Yucay, Peru, Juan Bautista Huillca Quispe is happy that his country has religious liberty. However, he notes that his particular area is steeped in religion and customs that create barriers for the Gospel. Please pray for the Holy Spirit to open eyes and draw souls to Christ.

  • One of our missionaries in Russia (it’s best if we not name him or his city) wrote to say: “We need wisdom and strength to fulfill God’s commission in difficult times.” He and his family use a number of methods to meet and evangelize the lost. Please pray for them as they share the Good News, both with ethnic Russians and with Muslims coming for work.

March Video Update

Watch this video on Vimeo by either clicking on the following link or by copying and pasting it in your browser:

https://vimeo.com/325255924

Dear Pastors and Friends, 

Greetings!  This month's video update comes from the military city of Desna and features Igor Fomichov, who is the pastor of the church there. The large military shower facility happens to be right next to their church. Therefore thousands of soldiers are marched past the church building every week on their way to the showers. Brother Igor came up with a plan of using this as an opportunity for evangelism by mounting a Bible verse on their building.  

He began to share this idea with others asking for some ideas of what would be the best Bible verse to use.  Eventually, someone suggested rather that than mounting just one verse, they should mount a digital LED outdoor screen. This would have the ability not only to change verses from time to time but could also display an invitation to attend the church and show the times of the services as well as special events. Folks began to get excited about the possibilities and then one day God provided the funds for this project. Praise the Lord!

In Christ, 

Sam & Amy Slobodian



BIEMs of Light March 2019

Praises Rejoice with us!

  • On Feb. 20 BIEM’s David Cateam (Central Asia) underwent surgery, which he calls “a miracle blessing.” Months earlier doctors had told him he had an irreversible decompensated bladder. They predicted tubes, bags, and catheters the rest of his days. But God sent a Christian doctor who made a referral to a leading surgeon who performed a “perfect” operation, giving David his normal life back! Grateful for praying friends and this amazing answer, he says, “Our ministry continues by God’s grace for God’s glory.”

  • Praise God for the new BIEM church planter that has been appointed in Latin America.  Douglas Serrudo Quispe, his wife Julia, and daughter Heidi have begun their ministry in Cuzco, Peru.  Please pray that souls will be saved and that a strong church will be established in this place.

  • In the Republic of Georgia, the Hoblitzes are excited at how God has been growing their church. Two newer members are young men who escaped persecution in other lands and have become active in the church’s evangelism team to their community!

  • God is continuing to bless the puppet ministry of the church in Chervona Sloboda, Ukraine.  Church planter Vitaly Yurchenko reports that last month they had 15 different Evangelistic Puppet presentations in schools, orphanages, churches and other children’s institutions.

Prayer - Pray with us!

  • More evangelistic services emphasizing widows have been held in Belarus, and a couple more are planned for the near future. Please pray for God to enlighten those invited, so they will appreciate not only the gift bag of groceries, but also the love of Christ and His offer of salvation. May souls come to him through these outreaches.

  • In Chernigiv, Ukraine, BIEM’s Lyosha and Alusia Savchuk and others from their church made an initial visit to an orphanage near them. Praise God, the administration appreciated this visit, which included a presentation of the Gospel. Please pray they can start a regular ministry here.

  • This month our national missionaries Vitaly and Olena Yurchenko will be visiting a number of American churches with Sam Slobodian. Please pray for safety during travels, but even more importantly that God will be glorified as they bring firsthand reports from the fields.

  • Many have been praying for Sam and Amy Slobodian's grandson Noah Harvey ever since he had his heart transplant.  The Harveys are now facing some new challenges. A website has been launched where you can get more information. It is www.COTAforMightyNoah.com/

     

February Video Update

Watch this video on Vimeo by either clicking on the following link or by copying and pasting it in your browser:

https://vimeo.com/316168759

Dear Pastors and Friends, 

Our dear brother in Christ, Peter Rumachik, went to be with the Lord on January 30th. This same day we were already heading for Moscow from Ukraine so we had the wonderful opportunity and privilege of attending the funeral on Saturday February 2nd. This month's video features this funeral. Brother Peter was 87 years old and spent the very last days of his life ministering in Shahovskaya with the new church planted there. He preached there that Sunday and spent a lot of time calling on folks with brother Andrei, the church planter he recruited for this church. After returning home, he passed away during the night. 

We praise God for the life of this dedicated servant of God who was a blessing and example to all of us. He spent 18.5 years in Soviet prisons and labor camps because of his uncompromising faith in the Lord. 

Pastor Peter Rumachik played a huge role in our ministry in Russia. Many churches were planted and church buildings built through the fruitful partnership we had together for many years. Our next Challenger will share more about brother Peter. 

In Christ, 

Sam & Amy Slobodian



Andrei and Anna Eliseev

Eliseev Prayer Card 1.jpg

Andrei serves as Director of the Christian Rehabilitation Center located just outside Ternopil, Ukraine. In this role, he and his fellow ministers at the center have been used of God to free men from their dependencies on drugs and alcohol. Even more important, the Lord has blessed them with opportunities to free men from the bonds of sin and to lead them to new life in Jesus Christ! Anna doesn't work directly with the rehabilitates, but supports her husband in this ministry and is involved in their local church.

For more information about the Eliseevs and their ministry, please contact our office.


Yura and Violetta Levtseniuk

Levtseniuk Prayer Card.jpg

Yura, Violetta, Aaron, Benjamin, and Elizabeth Levtseniuk have been called into ministry in the city of Lvov in western Ukraine, where Yura pastors Salvation Baptist Church. In the excerpt below, Yura shares the story of how God called him and his wife into ministry.

“Before telling about the ministry in Lvov, I’ll share how the Lord called us here. God called me to serious ministry to unbelievers, to people seeking God, and to church members. I began with ministry to children and teens, then to youth and adults. I’ve been serving thus for some years already. I’d recognized my great need for understanding theology and practical disciplines. I saw my lack of knowledge of the Bible despite the fact that I’d been reading and studying it since childhood.

For these specific reasons, I enrolled in Bible college. Praise God, for the theological education I received. As a family, we were invited to join a short-term mission trip to the Far East of Russia, with the goal of revitalizing a church that had sunk into spiritual weakness. God granted us success in that mission, for which we are very thankful to Him. As a result of that, we felt God’s calling to establish a new church for Christ.

The members and deacons of a small congregation named “Salvation” invited us to Lvov. We began to pray concerning this ministry. As a family, we traveled from Dubno, Ukraine, to Lvov to hold a service. This church invited us to come, and this is where we have been ministering for the past three months. The Lord has blessed us with new people, who have received Jesus Christ into their hearts and are now preparing for baptism. This is a great joy for us.”

 

2018

Sasha and Ira Petrenko

Petrenko Prayer Card 1.jpg

The Petrenkos serve as church planters in Goncharovsk, Ukraine, a town that is known primarily for the nearby military base. Their ministry includes various ways of meeting others and getting involved in the local community, such as Bible studies, cooking classes, and organizing a local floor hockey team. In the summertime, they team up with church planters in other cities and together they run summer camps for children and teens. Brother Peterenko, along with a couple other nearby BIEM church planters, is starting a new church in the nearby town of Smolen. This will be the fourth church planted by BIEM in the Chernihiv region.

2019

2018

Prayer Request

BIEM church planter Vitaly Bilyak and a team of dedicated children’s workers have launched a new orphanage ministry in Ternopil, Ukraine. They have made several trips to a nearby orphanage and established good rapport with the director. Now that a ministry team is in place, please pray for this monthly outreach to the nearly 150 needy orphans.

BIEMs of Light February 2019

Praises Rejoice with us!

  • Our dear brother in Christ, Peter Rumachik, has gone to be with the Lord. We praise God for the life of this dedicated servant of God who was a blessing and example to all of us. He spent 18.5 years in Soviet prisons and labor camps because of his uncompromising faith in the Lord. The funeral was Feb. 2. Our next Challenger will share more about brother Peter.

  • The winter session of Kyiv Theological Seminary is now completed. Subjects included “Bibliology,” “Holiness,” “Exegesis,” “Hermeneutics,” and “Methods of Teaching.” We praise the Lord, both for God-fearing instructors and for eager students, who immediately begin applying in their personal ministries the things they learn in the Seminary.

  • As one of our missionaries in Central Asia recently wrote, “This past year has been one with smattered bouts of intense persecution for some of our national church-planting families, but as always followed by waves of blessings.” We praise God for those blessings, and for strengthening those whom this world has tried to intimidate into silence.

  • In Belarus, BIEM missionary Nikolai Ryzhuk expresses thanks for you, BIEM friends. After describing a special evangelistic service held in Brest for orphans (with 250 present, 85% unbelievers), Nikolai writes, “Praise the Lord that in the West there are sweet, kind, sacrificing, and loving people—YOU—who helped us to do this!” We echo his sentiment!

Praises Rejoice with us!

  • In Sepahua, Peru, missionary Wilber Huillca says, “I request prayer, that God will help and give us wisdom in reaching more young people with the Gospel of Christ.” He expresses thanks to the Lord for souls saved through their ministry in 2018 but yearns to see more!

  • BIEM church planter Vitaly Bilyak and a team of dedicated children’s workers have launched a new orphanage ministry in Ternopil, Ukraine. They have made several trips to a nearby orphanage and established good rapport with the director. Now that a ministry team is in place, please pray for this monthly outreach to the nearly 150 needy orphans.

  • For this May, a special missions conference focusing on Central Asia has been planned to coincide with the Spring session of Kyiv Theological Seminary. Please pray that God will bless this effort and call Ukrainians to ministry in Muslim lands.

  • Although it’s still winter, it’s not too early for BIEM’s missionaries to begin planning for summer camps. It’s also not too early to donate to the camp fund. The camping ministry always requires many thousands of dollars, but the camps always make a valuable spiritual impact on young lives. Please pray for finances, for the leaders, and for God to prepare the hearts of children and teens!

Sergei and Vika Skripnik

Skripnik Prayer Card 2018.jpg

For some years, Sergei and Vika Skripnik have served as church planters among villages in western Ukraine. In addition, Vika has organized and led children’s Sunday school classes and Bible classes for public school children. Both have been involved as leaders in Christian summer camps, both in their own area and in other regions of Ukraine. Gospel ministry in villages, where local religious traditions are strong, is not always easy. But the Skripniks have been blessed of God to see souls come to Christ and lives changed for His glory. Brother Sergei also plays an important role in the training of BIEM national church planters and workers. He serves as the assistant director of Kiev Theological Seminary, the school that BIEM operates in partnership with the Brotherhood of Independent Baptist Churches of Ukraine.

For more information on the Skripniks and their ministry, please contact our office.

Mikhail and Natalia Titarenko

Titarenko Prayer Card.jpg

The Titarenkos relocated from the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv, to the town of Fedorivka. This town had experienced a sudden population increase when some people who were evacuated from the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in 1986 were resettled here. But because there was no Gospel witness in Fedorivka, the Titarenkos went there to plant a new church. 

For more information about the Titarenkos and their ministry, please contact our office.